Storming Out During Blackberry Season

Storming Out During Blackberry Season long poem

Photo by steve_lodefink


somewhere out on the island after a bitter flight
one of those roads where they let the timber stand
stuck to the blind undulations in the landscape
peaks and troughs more or less permanent just an empty
place for wildlife and a lush desolation to pass through

it was one of those things that happens in your teens
the line between ideas and actions so fine
not even the height of a hair to trip you up
you found yourself storming out of the house in bad shoes
a light jacket and all the money that is yours in the world
which is really change from a starving dollar bill

dark breeds fertile in the pit of those tall trees
their limbs shorn to a height above the power lines
the intense smell of cut wood and pitch blowing through
but at ground level in October you got overwhelmed
by the intense sweet stink of blackberries full ripe

you turned around at one point because you had to
there are a hundred places to go on the island
many warm and well-lit but few hold a welcome so it’s miles
of crackled blacktop walking back and a pair of soft shoulders
flecked with gravel and a mosaic of bottle caps to take you home

the sound of your father’s laughter still resounds
some kind of homily about the sins of the past revisiting
though whether it was his sins or yours (if it even matters)
is impossible to say because the muscles involved in your landslide frown
closed your ears, flared your nostrils, made you pivot and go

there was something moving through the woods pacing you parallel
invisible in the dark upon dark of the lateral landscape –
you heard that bears visit the island for the blackberries
daring to swim the depth of the Saratoga passage for a romp through abundance
big snuffling engines packing on pounds before winter

why would they crave human meat when berries never run
you asked yourself and tool a step downhill that took too long to land
began to question whether the night was something you’ll remember
or a brand new dream populated by guilt and the sound of undergrowth
snapping, heavy soft footfalls, and the swish of damp leaves

it was full dark with just a sprinkling of stars to differentiate treetops
from sky and the wind rose through pine needles in an expert
imitation of surf so when the engine sound registered in your ears
you questioned your hearing until headlights streaked the erect trunks and when
a roadside reflector flared orange you felt confident you’d get a ride
and just in time as two amber beacons flared from just within the treeline

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GlenDodge

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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